Once upon a time,
Learn more in 44 seconds. Here’s Mo…
Weekly stories curated exclusively for digital tourism marketers
Once upon a time,
Learn more in 44 seconds. Here’s Mo…
Niantic, the San Francisco-based video maker of “Pokémon GO,” is developing another AR game that brings gaming and
“Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” a joint venture with Warner Bros., is slated for release in 2019. Players will learn spells while exploring cities and neighborhoods to reveal and battle magical, mythical beasts.
Similarly to its Pokémon sister, the new game supports Niantic’s goal “…to create interactive games that encourage exercise, social interaction
In November 2018, Niantic announced their travel-related focus via a new partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Formed as Niantic Labs, an internal startup within Google, the company was introduced to eTourism Summit attendees in 2016, three months after the “Pokémon GO” release.
CNBC reports that the game has remained hot, downloaded over 800 million times in its first two years. Fast-growing, top-grossing Pokémon raked in nearly $800 million in revenue in 2018, a 35 percent increase over 2017. Sensor Tower indicates a strong, active, festival-oriented player base has spent $2.2 billion on “Pokémon GO” since its launch, and that “consistent rollout of new features and content” is looking at revenue of $3 billion before 2020.
In January, Niantic wrapped up its Series C funding round with another $245 million in financing, right on the heels of a $190 million equity sale. The company’s valuation is now nearly $4 billion.
It’s a given: Most everybody likes to take and share travel photos and videos.
The jury’s out: How many people would like to have ‘The Roaming Gnome‘ icon appearing in their pictures or videos?
Like this ->
The Roaming Gnome has more than 200,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram.
Based on the brand’s roaming gnome created in 2004, Travelocity, an Expedia Group brand, has launched its first augmented reality experience within the mobile app.
“Travelocity is one of the many Expedia Group Brands experimenting with new technologies. The AR feature launches on the heels of two travel tech developments from Brand Expedia earlier this month, including a voice-enabled Action for the Google Assistant and second VR experience from ExpediaLabs,” indicates this week’s news release.
The Travelocity app is available for free on both iOS and Android devices from the Apple or Google Play store. Read more here.
Demand in the tour and travel activities space continues to heat up as consumers come to expect online availability backed by realtime inventory.
On the heels of “TripAdvisor Buys Bokun, Rebrands Attractions Sector as Experiences,” (in The Travel Vertical, May 31, 2018), there’s more news in this segment.
Activities provider Peek.com, and its Peek Pro tour and activity operator software which we introduced at eTourism Summit 2014, just announced $23 million in a Series B round of financing and a tie-up with Google that will see its inventory added to Google Search, Google Maps and Google Trips, reports TechCrunch.
How come? Because, says Peek Co-Founder and CEO Ruzwana Bashir, “When you look at businesses in the U.S., over 70 percent don’t have real-time online booking, you still have to call the business or email them.” She also noted the importance of locals, saying that “around one-third of Peek bookings come from people doing things in their own town…”
We’re pleased to announce that Ting Ting Yan, Senior Marketing Strategist at Google, has joined the eTourism Summit Advisory Council as its newest member. Based in New York City, Yan joined Google in 2010. She is responsible for growing revenue and bookings for Google’s biggest travel advertisers including Kayak, TripAdvisor and Priceline. She also advises on digital marketing and brand building using search, mobile and YouTube while developing Google’s thought leadership in the travel industry and with C-suite. We’re looking forward to Ting Ting’s presentation at #eTS18.
Discover Albany’s new president and CEO is Jill Delaney, who previously served as the President and CEO of the New York State Tourism Industry Association. With more than 20 years of experience in business and nonprofit management, including tourism promotion, marketing, communication, and event planning, Delaney was hired following of a nationwide leadership search.
Pat Moscaritolo, President & CEO of Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, announced his retirement will be effective February 14, 2019, according to Inbound Report. In a statement, he spoke of the (Valentine’s Day!) date as being “28 years to the day that I started at the bureau.” We’re quite certain that everyone near and dear to Pat are delighted to hear that he plans to “start enjoying my family and grandkids.”
Laura Guerreri has been named acting president of the York County (Penn.) CVB. She succeeds Anne Druck, who had held the post for 25 years and who is joining the local chapter of United Way as executive director. Guerreri, who has been with the bureau for 16 years, has served as its director of sales for 12 years.
Deleyse Langdale has returned to Sonoma County Tourism (Calif.) to take on a newly created position as vice president of tourism development. She had previously served as the organization’s international sales director from 2013 to 2017, then spent the past year as president and owner of Authentic Lifestyle. Before first joining Sonoma County Tourism, Langdale was associate director of sales at San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences.
Fernando Harb has been promoted to the position of senior vice president of tourism sales at the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB. He had previously been vice president of tourism sales. Harb joined the Fort Lauderdale DMO in 2007.
Introduced onstage as a “Bright Shiny New Object” at eTourism Summit 2015, Detour and its 120 tours has been acquired by Bose. The behind-the-scenes self-guided walking tour app founded and funded by Andrew Mason, former CEO of Groupon, may appeal to Bose for its audio experiences delivered through a pair of sensor-laden glasses, reports TechCrunch. Meantime, Mason is focused on his new startup, Descript, with $5 million invested from Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.